New guidelines for free/reduced school lunch released - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New guidelines for free/reduced school lunch released


MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction on Monday afternoon released income eligibility guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services for students to qualify for free or reduced-price school meals for the 2013-14 school year.

The guidelines are based on federal poverty levels. For this coming school year, a household of four with income of $30,615 per year or less will qualify for free meals. A household of four with income is between $30,615 and $43,568 can receive reduced-price school meals.

The state's participating public and private schools typically provide applications for free and reduced-price school meals during registration and in the early weeks of the school year, though you can submit an application at any time.

Last school year, 43.2% of Wisconsin public school students were eligible for free and reduced-price school meals.

"The federal income guidelines are designed to ensure that hunger doesn't have to be part of the school day because hungry children are less likely to be eager and attentive students," said State Superintendent Tony Evers. "Schools that offer the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs help families feed their children, and because the meals are balanced for nutrition and calories, they provide important support to education and efforts to change childhood obesity rates."

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